Kabul voter centre suicide attack kills 57 Shia Muslims

A suicide bombing at a voter registration center in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, left at least 57 Shia Muslims killed and 119 people injured.

The attacker detonated the bomb at a voter center where Afghan authorities were handing out national identity cards in their effort to register more people to vote.

Shortly after the Taliban said it was not behind the attack, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility.

The dead include 21 women and five children, killed when the blast hit the queue outside. A further 119 people were injured.

The large explosion echoed across the city, shattering windows miles away from the site of the attack in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood, where many of the country’s Shia Hazara minority live.

Isis claimed responsibility in a statement carried by its Aamaq news agency, saying it had targeted Shias. Isis is opposed to the country holding democratic elections.

Voter registration began this month for legislative elections which are due to take place in October.

IS’s mouthpiece said a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt had targeted the centre, which is in the Dashte Barchi area of western Kabul.

Children were standing in line with their parents waiting to register when the bomb went off on Sunday morning.

“I found myself covered in blood, with dead people – women and children – around me,” Rasuli, 26, recalled when he spoke to AFP news agency from his hospital bed in the city.

“They all wanted to vote,” he added.

Passport-sized photos and forms littered the blast site along with broken glass and pools of blood.

Another wounded man, who wept as he spoke from his hospital bed, told local channel Ariana TV, “I don’t know where my daughters are. God damn the attackers!”

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